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How to Make Japanese Cold Brew Tea, Recipe

Posted by Angelina Kurganska on

So we’ve already talked about How to Make Cold Brew Tea where we provided the general ratios and tips for a good quality cold brew.

Today we would like to take the topic to a new level and introduce the best way of making cold brew using Japanese green teas


Why Cold Brew is Better Than Iced Tea

Using the cold brew method to make an iced tea versus the traditional hot brew with ice, leaves us with a smoother tea. The time required is definitely worth the wait and if you plan in advance and brew overnight it even saves you some waiting time. Cold brew tea is always sweeter, smoother, and doesn’t have bitterness. 

When we use cold water to extract all the best from our tea leaves the tannins stay within the tea leaf and do not end up in our brew. These tannins are often times responsible for the bitterness we sometimes taste in a cup of hot tea. 


Furthermore, cold brews are known to have less caffeine as cold water doesn’t extract as much caffeine as would hot water. Some good news for tea lovers who want to limit their caffeine intake by a bit!


Cold brews are a great drink for those hot summer nights we like to spend outside in the fresh air as the caffeine content won’t disrupt our sleep. 

And lastly, cold brews contain a significantly higher amount of antioxidants. Japanese teas in particular already have a higher number of antioxidants compared to most Chinese teas, thanks to its light processing methods. Cold brew takes it to an even higher level as cold water extracts more catechins (what’s responsible for the antioxidants) from the tea leaf while keeping its benefits. 



Japanese Cold Brew Tea Recipes: 

  • Mizudashi, steeping the tea leaves in cold water. 

For this method we recommend using 1g of tea leaf per ~30ml of cold water. Cover the tea leaves with water in a jar or pitcher and leave in the fridge. 

Unlike most other loose leaf teas which require a minimum of 6 hours, Japanese green teas require only a minimum of 2 hours before the cold brew is ready. If you have more time on hand and would like a stronger brew you can try steeping it for a maximum of 24 hours. 


  • The ice method.

This method is recommended to use with higher grades of tea like Gyokuro

Place 1.5-2g of tea leaf per ~30ml of volume in a kyusu and fill it up with ice. Wait for the ice to melt naturally at room temperature. When all the ice has melted, give the kyusu a light swirl and pour the tea into glasses. 


Additional cold brew tips: 

  • Make sure to give the tea a gentle swirl before drinking as the most potent part will set at the bottom.
  • If you have several blends of leftover sencha with too little tea leaf for one brew you can combine them and make one cold brew.
  • For people who have teas which flavor they are not quite fond of or which have a bit of an unpleasant bitterness (whether Japanese teas or not) — we recommend trying out the cold brew method. You never know which brewing method might just be the one for you and bring out all the favorable qualities you were hoping for out of the tea.